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How to Apply

Applying for Macalester approval to study away involves a number of steps, including the advising and application processes, which take place in the fall semester for study away in the following academic year (check out our full study away timeline). We have provided step-by-step instructions for each phase of the process below as well as information about what is included in the application. Should you have any questions, the Center for Study Away staff is available to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Advising Process

Create your Study Away Account

We will walk you through this process during the First Steps Info Sessions. You will log in to the online application using your Macalester username and password. Once you create your account, you will answer a series of questions to help you and your advisor guide the program search process.

Meet with a Study Away Advisor

After attending a First Steps Info Session and completing the intake process in your study away account, you will meet with a study away advisor to discuss your study away plans, ask questions, and talk about your goals.

How to Start an Application

After you have completed the advising process above, taken time to explore all of our approved programs, talked with peers, faculty, and family, and decided on a program, follow the below steps to start your application.

Click “Apply”

On the program overview tab of the brochure, you will see a button prompting you to apply.

Select Program Term

You will see all terms for which this program is available; choose either fall or spring and then click “start application.”

What am I Asked in the Application?

  • Basic information

    Certain fields in this system will be locked because the Center for Study Away receives this data from Macalester’s student information system. To change or correct locked information, you can contact the Registrar.

    This section asks for the following information:

    • Name
    • Pronouns
    • Email
    • Contact information: phone, address
    • Academic information: Major(s), minor(s), concentration(s), GPA, graduation year

  • Eligibility

    This section asks for the following information:

    • Have you attended First Steps and met with an advisor?
    • Do you meet the program’s specific eligibility requirements such as minimum GPA and language level?
    • What semester to you prefer to study away and why?

  • Short-Answer Questions

    In this section we ask you to answer 4 short-answer questions using 100 words or less:

    • Learning: what are 2-3 specific things you hope to learn and/or accomplish during your study away experience?
    • Program components: which features of this program (e.g. structure, curriculum, co-curricular activities, location) drew you to choose it for study away, and why are these features important to you?
    • Engagement: in what ways do you expect you will engage with the local community (location, people, institutions, historical context, etc.)? What impact do you imagine your engagement will have on those with whom you interact?
    • Connection to your education: in what specific ways do you anticipate your study away experience will connect to your overall experience as a student at Macalester?

  • Study Away Coursework

    In this section we ask you to think about the courses you might take during study away and how they fit into your overall graduation plan. You will be asked to complete the below PDF document and submit it as part of your application. Study_Away_Coursework_Details_f23

  • Experiential Learning

    If your program requires students to engage in an internship or an independent study research project, or if your program offers these as optional opportunities and you would like to participate, you will be asked to complete an additional essay:


    • If you plan to participate in an internship: with what type of organization do you hope to work? What do you hope to learn through an internship placement? How do you plan to ethically engage with the organization, people, and community with which you work?
    • If you plan to participate in research: what theme or topic do you hope to explore? What research methods do you think will be most effective in conducting your research? What training and experience do you have, or anticipate needing, in order to successfully complete your research? How will you ensure that you conduct your research in an environment that is safe for you and your research subjects and that your topic is culturally appropriate?


In most cases, as long as you apply early and meet your program’s eligibility criteria, you should be accepted to your program of choice. For this reason, students are not encouraged to apply for a back-up program. Instead, we recommend that you pay close attention to when your program’s application becomes available and apply early to ensure your best chance of acceptance.

In the unlikely event that the program fills before you submit your application, or if you don’t receive acceptance to your program, the Center for Study Away staff will work with you to find an appropriate backup program, provided suitable alternatives remain. If you apply early in the application process, this will allow time to find an alternative program should the need arise.